Homeward Bound

It has been quite the journey together so far, hasn’t it my friends?  I’ve spent the past couple of days taking a breather in Boulder, Colorado, and now I’m planning the final push to make it home to the Twin Cities within the next two days.

I don’t know about you, but when I pause to examine myself, I find I am not quite the same person I was two weeks ago.  These leaps of faith, of which I seem to be so fond, do not seem to allow me to just settle back into my old routine when my travels take me home.  It’s as though my eyes have learned to see a new color, or my ears to perceive a new sound, and my old world isn’t exactly the way I left it—there is more to it, a depth I was previously incapable of detecting.

So what does this mean?  At the moment, I’m not yet sure.  Do you have any suggestions, dear reader?  Are there things you plan to change or try to do?

One thing I’ve noticed: I both speak up more assertively and listen more intently.

When I strike up conversation with people, or when they ask me what I’ve been up to recently, I actually tell them.  I don’t shy away from the subject of immigration legislation.  But as soon as the topic comes up, I do my best to make sure that I make room for other opinions.

You see, if this were an unimportant topic, people wouldn’t care about it as deeply as they do—they wouldn’t get passionate or argumentative.  So if there’s that much emotion behind a person’s opinion, I can only assume that there are reasons behind that emotion.  So while I still share my own opinions and my own story, I also want to hear what my conversation partner has to say; it adds dimension to the universal story.

It is my belief that there is no truth that does not deserve to be heard.  We must all speak our truths as we perceive them.  If we can do this with love in our hearts, and if we can listen deeply to each other, I believe we can find common ground.  From there, we can build the future we want to see in the world.

At this point, this is what I have managed to do with my newfound awareness.  I’m just trying to spread the word of my personal experience in Arizona, hoping that it will make people think, care, wonder.  I plan to write much more now that I’ve had a bit of a chance to process what I went through; I want to keep myself apprised of the situation down there and heed any further calls to action.  Because we must stop this racism and hatred here, at its source, before it spreads across our nation any further.

There are echoes of the civil rights movement of the sixties down in Arizona today.  There are many different ways to show support besides getting arrested, and I know that many of my wonderful readers have committed their hearts already to uphold justice, equality, human rights, and love.  The outcome of this legislation is going to shape the future in which our children will grow up.  What kind of world do you think we can build together?  Let me know—I’ll be at your side 100%.

-lm

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About Leaping Loon

I am an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister serving our congregation in Elgin, Illinois. While I am determined to embrace my propensity to wander, it oftentimes takes a leap of faith to do so. My life's motto seems to be: "Leap, and the net will appear." True to my spirit, and following Love's call, I must simply free myself to go. Where will I end up? Let's find out. Welcome to my journey!
This entry was posted in 2010 Phoenix (Day of Non-Compliance). Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Homeward Bound

  1. Robin Edgar says:

    “What kind of world do you think we can build together? Let me know—I’ll be at your side 100%.”

    Well I would like to build a U*U World free from anti-religious intolerance and bigotry and one that is also free from grossly negligent and effectively complicit responses to all manner of clergy misconduct complaints. A little less ersatz “civil disobedience” would be nice too. . .

    I look forward to hearing how you propose to be at my side 100%

    Perhaps you and other U*Us could block the entrance to 25 Beacon Street and those U*U churches who have condoned clergy misconduct of various kinds until they agree to clean up their mess.

    Sincerely,

    Robin Edgar

    • leapingloon says:

      Robin—
      I, too, would like to build a world free from religious intolerance and bigotry. I, too, would like a world in which human rights are respected so that clergy do not need to protest in the streets and get arrested while standing up for the inherent worth and dignity of every person. In this, it would appear I already am at your side 100%.
      But in my post, you will note that I mentioned we must speak our truth with love in our hearts and listen deeply to one another if we hope to find common ground. Having read your recent blog entries at http://emersonavenger.blogspot.com/, I felt your anger and your pain. Forgive me if I am missing something, but it was difficult to find your loving response or a call to action in your posts. When you propose an action that will bring love, rather than anger, into this world, let me know, and I will listen.
      -lm

  2. Robin Edgar says:

    I have plenty of good reason to be angry at U*Us for either directly engaging in anti-religious intolerance and bigotry or effectively condoning it. Likewise I have good reason to be angry at U*U clergy for either directly perpetrating sexual and non-sexual forms of clergy misconduct or effectively condoning it. You and other U*Us need to be prepared to deal with people’s anger, especially when you are the one’s who directly or indirectly provoke it.

    I have already proposed various actions that will bring love into the U*U World, and indeed the *real* world, but every single proposal that I have made has been callously ignored or irresponsibly and quite arbitrarily rejected by U*Us, including rather too many U*U ministers and top level UUA administrators.

    How about getting 100% behind my comparatively recent proposal that the UUA stand on the side of love for ALL victims of ALL forms of U*U clergy misconduct by officially apologizing to victims of non-sexual forms of clergy misconduct, issue a second apology to victims of clergy sexual misconduct which acknowledges that the UUA failed to honor its decade old “pledge” to “bend towards justice”, and provide some real and tangible restorative justice for ALL victims of clergy misconduct perpetrated by U*U clergy and perpetuated by UUA institutional denial and stonewalling for decades. . .

    Do you think that your own “civil disobedience” in Phoenix AZ brought love rather than anger into the world? Think again. . .

    Have you read the comments from non-U*U Arizonans to the media reports of your “civil disobedience”? Did Phoenix drivers *love* your “extremely disruptive” tactic of blocking traffic for hours or do you think that maybe just maybe a lot of them were just a tad angry at you?

  3. Robin Edgar says:

    In any case thank you for not only not suppressing my comment but responding to it in a reasonable manner. Plenty of U*Us would never have let it see the light of day.

    Now I once again look forward to hearing how *you* propose to be !00% at my side, and at the side of every other victim of injustices and abuses perpetrated by U*U clergy and perpetuated by all those other U*Us who stand on the side of “love” as in 0 by doing absolutely nothing to ensure that U*U clergy misconduct complainants are responded to in a manner that genuinely honors and upholds U*U principles and ideals rather than repeatedly and quite consistently making a total mockery of them.

    • leapingloon says:

      Robin, you are welcome. I do believe that every voice deserves a chance to be heard—both yours and mine.

      But your comments, while I feel your very deep emotion behind them, do not provide me (or any other reader) with the particulars of your experiences. You speak in generalities, and so I am only able to agree or disagree in a general way. Where are your facts coming from?

      • Robin Edgar says:

        My facts come from well documented direct personal experience of U*U anti-religious intolerance and bigotry, U*U clergy misconduct, and negligent and effectively complicit UUA responses to the misconduct I complained about. Above and beyond that, my facts come from the reliable testimony of other people who have been victimized by U*Us in general and U*U clergy in particular. A very good resource for those concerned by U*U clergy sexual misconduct would be the First Unitarian Church of Nashville’s website called UU SafetyNet and the archived ‘Speaking Truth To Power‘ blog now hosts. I am concerned as much by non-sexual clergy misconduct as sexual misconduct because the UUA is even more negligent and complicit in its responses to non-sexual clergy misconduct than it is in its (mis)handling of clergy sexual misconduct complaints.

  4. leapingloon says:

    You are quite correct that our actions angered some people. That would be the reason we were in jail for 26 hours instead of 6. But you are incorrect if you believe our actions failed to bring love into the world. I’m surprised you could have read my blog and not noticed that.

    You seem to be using me as a focus for your own negative experiences. If there has been sexual misconduct of clergy—regardless of that clergy’s denomination—then of course the victims of such misconduct deserve an apology and whatever justice can still be served. Of course I would stand on the side of love with them. I never denied that. But sexual misconduct is not a topic I have addressed on this blog.

    I’m sorry you are hurting. I’m sorry you feel such anger. But slandering the people who could help you is not the best way to get what you want.

  5. Robin Edgar says:

    Here is the full text of an email addressed to UUA President Peter Morales inviting him to publicly stand on the side of love for ALL victims of clergy misconduct committed by Unitarian Universalist ministers on “National Standing on the Side of Love Day” Sunday, February 14th, 2010.

    Guess how he responded to it. . .

    By standing on the side of “love” as in 0, nada, nothing.

  6. Robin Edgar says:

    Who am I “slandering” Leaping Loon?

    Slandering people is spreading *false* and damaging reports about them.

    There is nothing false about what I have reported.

    Please do not confuse what many U*Us would call “poking fun” at people if *they* were doing it with slander or libel or any other form of defamation.

    • leapingloon says:

      Please do not confuse these “many U*Us” with me. If you have noticed a place in my blog where I have done such a thing, kindly point it out to me, and I will edit it with apologies to any offended party. But until that point, please stop blaming me for things other people have done to hurt you.

      • Robin Edgar says:

        I am not blaming you for things that other people have done LL.

        What I *have* been doing is criticizing the ersatz “civil disobedience” that U*Us engage in to draw media attention to their protests. I am not alone in delivering such criticism. Several other U*U bloggers are “less than impressed” with the U*U “civil disobedience” that went down in Phoenix AZ last week.

  7. photo guy says:

    Just a quick note. I was in Downtown Phoenix last Thursday and was happy to see the UU’s standing in solidarity against SB1070 and Sheriff Joe. It was very unexpected and many people have commented on how many were there. I disagree that it brought further anger. The streets weren’t affected that badly and those who were already angry still are. Nothing has changed in their hearts and I don’t expect it ever will.

    However, love was clearly shown to many people who are struggling to come to terms with a government that clearly is biased against them. Anyone who speaks out and takes a stand, no matter how small, demonstrates that many Americans do in fact understand where they came from and wish to fight for and extend those freedoms to those who are new to the country. It was one of the most patriotic things I’ve seen in a long time.

    Keep up the good work.

    • leapingloon says:

      Thank you, Photo Guy. I agree—our civil protest, I felt, was the most patriotic act I have ever had the honor to undertake. I appreciate your support and your witness. -lm

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